Look: UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi boards 'Al Ain' aircraft for journey back home

The 42-year-old will return to a hero's welcome in the Emirates


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Mon 18 Sep 2023, 12:03 PM

Last updated: Mon 18 Sep 2023, 2:11 PM

Astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi is ready to embark on the journey back to the UAE, as per a recent photo posted on a social media platform.

In a heartfelt message on Monday morning, he stated that he places his trust in God as he gears up to return to his motherland.

In the pictures is a plane displaying Al Ain and the emblem of the UAE.

The photo also features several others alongside the 'Sultan of Space’. Among them are astronauts Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla, who are part of the second cohort of the UAE Astronaut Programme. They are joined by several high-ranking officials from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

In another tweet MBRSC Director General, Salem Al Marri said, “Next stop…Dar Zayed.”

A grand welcome awaits him later today, where he will be addressing the media in the UAE.

Dubbed #SultanHomecoming, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will stream AlNeyadi’s return to the UAE live from 5.30pm.

AlNeyadi, who arrived on the ISS on March 3 for a half-year mission worked on numerous scientific experiments on the orbiting laboratory before returning to Earth on September 4.

For six months, he raised the UAE flag high and proud aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and even stepped out of the orbital outpost for seven hours to become the first Arab spacewalker.

The 42-year-old astronaut spent about 4,400 hours in space and returned to Earth on September 4 in a SpaceX Dragon capsule. He conducted over 200 experiments aboard the ISS that took 585 hours and collaborated with 10 international space agencies and 25 UAE and global universities.

The astronaut, who has maintained multiple times that he is ready for his next mission, will advocate all things science back on Earth. With outreach programmes and talks, he will inspire the next generation of space travellers and scientists.


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